Winter 2013

Winter 2013

Is character key to student success?

Is character key to student success?

Two books make the case

AS A THOUGHT experiment, imagine you’re magically “shaping” a high school senior. You’re lucky. Her starting point is that she’s at the 80th percentile in both IQ and “character”—a composite measure of traits like grit, tenacity, and optimism. You can increase either variable, but only by lowering the other variable by the same amount. For(...)

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Vendors outside Fenway being phased out

Vendors outside Fenway being phased out

Can operate until they die, retire

THE CITY OF BOSTON is slowly phasing out the street vendors around Fenway Park, claiming that the 18 small business people selling grilled chicken sandwiches, sausage sandwiches, peanuts, and baseball caps represent a safety concern. The vendors will be allowed to continue to operate until they die or retire, but their operating permits will not(...)

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Mixed grade for Obama’s first term

Mixed grade for Obama’s first term

Bold initiatives, but a failure to sell them

BARACK OBAMA’S FIRST TERM was marked by daunting political realities. Upon entering office, he faced an economic crisis un­matched since the Great Depression. The banking system teetered on the verge of collapse. The automobile industry in Detroit was tanking. The nation was hemorrhaging 70,000 jobs each month. Despite all this, some said there were reasons(...)

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UMass football thrown for loss

UMass football thrown for loss

Team takes beating on field, box office

  THERE WEREN’T MANY bright spots last year as the Univ­ersity of Massachusetts Amherst stepped up to the top level of college football, the Football Bowl Subdivision. The team went 1-11, playing in the Mid-America Athletic Conference, and was outscored by an average of 40-13. Even more disappointing was the lackluster attendance at the team’s(...)

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Film tax credit launching businesses

Film tax credit launching businesses

New firm rents "star" trailers

A.J. BOLES HAD AN IDEA big enough to drive a truck through. Through his work on a number of films in Massachusetts, including Shutter Island, filmed at the former Medfield State Hospital, he knew that productions often had to go out of state to rent trucks and particularly trailers for their stars. He saw a(...)

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Casualties of war

Casualties of war

Few questioned Annie Dookhan’s unbelievable output, perhaps because they were blinded by the war on drugs

One of the defendants affected by Annie Dookhan’s mishandling of drug lab tests seeks a later curfew before Special Magistrate Elizabeth Donovan. IT WAS THE SUMMER OF 2010. Robert Annunziata was in a car in Fall River with two other men when police pulled the vehicle over in front of Annunziata’s apartment and began asking(...)

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Cause development

Cause development

John Rosenthal is active on gun control, homelessness, and the environment -- and in his spare time is a developer

JOHN ROSENTHAL’S BLACKBERRY lit up. Media requests poured in from NECN, WCVB, and WBUR.  MSNBC wanted to talk. Even the Arabic-language network Al Jazeera found its way to his door. The crush of attention was not a pleasant development. News outlets call Rosenthal when terrible things happen, and a very terrible thing indeed had happened.(...)

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Police misconduct

Police misconduct

The Boston Police Department may be paying the price for letting a program to help troubled cops lapse

Outside the Area C police station in the Fields Corner section of Dorchester. Photo by J. Cappuccio. ON APRIL 22, 2009, CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT and his girlfriend were driving in Boston when they got into a fender-bender. The couple called police after the other driver refused to exchange insurance information and Officer Gerald L. Cofield Jr.(...)

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Solar state

Solar state

Gov. Patrick builds a fast-growing industry with big subsidies

ON APRIL 17, 2007, Gov. Deval Patrick traveled to Marlborough to make two announcements. One was that Evergreen Solar was going to stay in Massa­chusetts and open a $150 million solar panel manufacturing plant. The other was a commitment to increase the state’s solar power generating capacity from 2 to 250 megawatts by 2017. The(...)

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